Tue, 05 Jul 2022

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], June 9 (ANI): Odisha FC and Josep Gombau have reached an agreement for the latter to take over as head coach of the men's senior team on a two-year deal.

This marks Gombau's return to the Juggernauts after a brief spell of two seasons. The Spaniard was in charge of the Juggernauts in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2019-20 season where he tasted a lot of success and became a fan favourite based on his style of play.

Born in Amposta, Catalonia, Gombau was a goalkeeper but switched to coaching at the age of 16. After coaching youth teams in CF Amposta and RCD Espanyol, he was signed by FC Barcelona in 2003 as a youth academy coach. In 2008, he became the technical director of FCB Escola, a Barcelona youth football academy opened at the Raffles International School in Jumeirah, Dubai.

Immediate interest in coaching fetched him a UEFA A license by the time he was 19. Having travelled around Spain and other parts of Europe to observe various coaches in action, Gombau spent six seasons working with youth teams in Barcelona -- that's where Oriol Romeu and others like Wolverhampton's Adama Traore, Hector Bellerin of Arsenal, and Monaco's Keita Balde trained under him -- before he came to Kitchee in Hong Kong in 2009.

Kitchee won the league the following two seasons, and in 2011-12 they did the domestic treble of the league, the FA Cup, and the League Cup.

Like anybody with a strong Barcelona influence, Gombau wants to entertain people with his brand of football.

"If I tell a young player not to take risks and just play long balls, this is the easier option for him. You need to measure how you send a message to a young player. You can say, 'Under pressure, if you need to kick one or two balls [long], do it.'I want them to take responsibility, and sometimes we concede goals because we take a risk. But maybe this will bring you knowledge that you won't make a mistake in the next 10 games," said Gombau. (ANI)

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